As I am a man in the middle stages of life and uncertain as to how much time I have left I pray that I can spend a lot more time with my wife and son and that we together see our son grow into adulthood, go to college, find his passion, meet a nice girl, find success in his career ambitions, marry, become a father and enjoy all the riches of life. I was fortunate to have all the necessary support and love growing up to see these things in my life. My mom and dad did so much for me and for that I am eternally grateful.
I am forever touched by the love and support I received from my mother who was a gentle and kind woman who showed her affection for my 2 sisters and I each and every day. She always made time for us and never lost sight of our needs. She made sure I completed all my homework assignments and helped me to focus and concentrate and she instilled in me the importance of discipline and commitment. She also made me realize that making mistakes is a normal part of life and the main lesson to learn from our mistakes is that we learn from them and we become better for the experience.
Growing up in the 60’s was a wonderful and a very difficult time because it was a time of great change. I remember as a young boy seeing my mother cry one day in November. The year was 1963 and it was a day that changed our country forever. I was too young to really understand the impact of that tragic day but I will never forget the sadness I saw in my mother’s eyes. The day obviously was the assassination of our president, John F. Kennedy. When I was born John F. Kennedy was elected our President and then President Dwight D. Eisenhower was preparing to leave office.
Our country’s innocence was lost that fateful day, November 22, 1963. I grew to appreciate the sadness my parents felt that day as I learned more about President John F. Kennedy in school and from my parents. I learned that President Kennedy was responsible for the famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. President Kennedy was also responsible for the launching of our space program and was certainly one of our country’s greatest leaders whose life was tragically cut short by gun violence.
As a young boy I remember seeing visions of violence and hatred on the tv and remember my mom trying her best to shield that ugly side of the news from me. I remember asking her why our country was at war and why there was so much protesting and she spoke to me in a very caring and educated way simply saying that our leaders were working to restore peace in the world and had to send our young men and women over to Asia to accomplish that. She also told me that she did not agree in principal with the Vietnam war and there were protesters sharing these same views and were voicing them. I remember her also saying that she trusted in the leadership of our country and when I think back to what she said I can certainly relate it to our country’s situation today in Iraq.
I remember as a young boy growing up when we would have family time where we would gather in the living room watching our favorite tv shows after dinner and I remember how mom and dad loved watching the Ed Sullivan show and a famous broadcast I remember watching with them was the introduction of the Beatles to the States. My mother loved the Beatles and I also grew to love their music as it had a profound effect on my life growing up during that era. My recollections of Ed Sullivan was that famous show featuring the Beatles. Another show we loved to watch was the Sonny and Cher show which also stood out in my mind and their famous song I got you Babe. I fell in love with that song and that was one of my mother’s favorite songs.
I also learned a lot about treating others with respect and showing my gentle side from my mother. My mother was a delicate and a very strong person both at the same time. She was a beautiful woman and I see why my Dad was in love with her and us kids. I remember my mother always dressed beautifully and back in the 60’s I remember how she loved to wear her skirts, dresses and cardigans. She was so pretty and I always enjoyed seeing her dressed so pretty. She had a big influence on me and my views of women and taught me a lot about showing respect and appreciation for girls and women. Both my mom and dad taught me how to relate with girls and treat them right. I always appreciated how girls dressed and always admired and learned from them. They always seemed to have intuition and knew how to handle matters. I always knew that girls matured sooner than we did and we had to learn from them.
There are so many memories of mom that come to mind and they are all so vivid to me and precious. I always enjoyed the bond we had watching the Met’s because we had many enjoyable times seeing them play. I remember 1969 was a fun year because that was a miracle year for the Met’s and my mom was such a fan of their team that I became one also. That was a wonderful year because that was the year the Met’s did the impossible. They won the World series in 5 games against the Baltimore Orioles and we were so happy and we celebrated their victory and from that time I always cherished our times watching them. I got to celebrate the Met’s victory with my mom again in 1986 and just thinking back to those victories brings such wonderful memories of my mom and our days together.
My mom’s love of baseball evolved when she was a young girl and her father took her to Ebbits Field to see the Brooklyn Dodgers play. She became a loyal fan of the Brooklyn Dodger’s until they moved to Los Angeles. When the Met’s were formed in the early 1960’s her allegiance changed and she became a Met’s fan and I was destined to become one too.
When I look back on my childhood I realize how blessed I was to have such loving parents and such a wonderful family. My mother was so influential in my life as was my dad and I am a very kind, caring, compassionate person because of my mom and my dad. Mom gave me so much love and she taught me so much and always was very protective of me and I miss her and cherish her and am so grateful as I realize my love for my wife and son is strong and it is because I learned how to love another from my mom and I will never forget how she always helped me with my psoriasis because she wanted to make me overcome my insecurities and she knew how self conscious I was about it. She would always rub my skin with olive oil to moisten the dryness and I knew she truly cared.
This is similar to how I am with my son and his Autism. I know my son has his struggles and has times where he feels alone and I am trying to help him and give him the love and support he needs to help him through his struggles. I love my son very much and I want to help him in every way I can like my mom and dad did for me.
As Mother’s Day is here again I am reminded about my mom and all she means to me and I also realize how much Maria means to Matthew and I celebrate all the happy times and hold on to the many wonderful memories of her and celebrate the specialness of my mom to me and the specialness of our son and his mom and my life with them both. I wish my mother and my wife and my sisters and mother-in-law a very Happy Mother’s Day and the same for all women who are blessed to be mother’s. I have such respect and admiration for women and for motherhood.
I dedicate this to my mom, Catherine Teresa Iannielli with love.
Edward D. Iannielli III